SA Division

South Australia

The South Australian Division of the AAG has a program of thematically linked meetings for its members and members of associated organisations consisting of seminars, symposia and special interest meetings, including seminars in rural areas.

In addition, we run an annual one day scientific conference that includes the "ACH Group Sir Keith Wilson Oration". This conference is considered by many as the premier conference on ageing in the State and constantly attracts over 200 delegates.

Division President

Lui DiVenuto

Lui Has been an active member of the South Australian committee since 2003 and has been president of the division since 2014.
Lui is the Team Leader of the Active Ageing and Disability Programs with the City of Onkaparinga since 2016. The City of Onkaparinga is South Australia’s largest council with a population of 169.000.
Prior to that he spent 14 years with the Eastern Collaborative Project facilitating sector development with Aged care service providers across the Eastern Metropolitan region of Adelaide.
He has extensive experience in Community Care and service development with Local Government in South Australia, and Social Services in the United Kingdom.

Vice President

Dr Edoardo Rosso 

Dr Edoardo Is a social geographer with a strong background in qualitative research, participatory approaches, strategic planning and innovative thinking in the Human Services. Edoardo has over ten years of experience in addressing issues of social inclusion/exclusion, social development, social health and social capital, and he is passionate about community, partnerships, capacity-building and self-determination. He has a passion for empowering different groups of people to live well in their communities through social, cultural, recreational, vocational and civic engagement. Currently, Edoardo works as a Service Design Manager – Research & Innovation for leading South Australian aged care provider ACH Group.


Dr Claire Hutchinson 

Dr Claire Hutchinson is a Senior Research Fellow and mixed methods social scientist in the Health and Social Care Economics Group at the Caring Futures Institute, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University. She has a PhD in psychology and a pre-academic background in organisational consultancy and project management. Her research focuses primarily on the lived experiences of social care consumers (older people, people with disabilities), quality of life, psychosocial wellbeing, and the social return on investment (SROI) of health and social care programs and interventions. Claire has been a member of the committee since 2019 and is currently Treasurer. She has been on committees for AAG awards at state and national level and is a previous recipient of the AAG Research Trust Hal Kendig Research Development Program Award.

Action noter

Miia Rahja

Miia is a post-doctoral research associate with Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute. She completed her PhD in December 2019 evaluating the implementation of an evidence based occupational therapist-delivered reablement program for people living with dementia in Australia. She now conducts research in aged and dementia care with a focus on evaluating the economic and social impacts of new program implementation. She is the South Australian coordinator for two Australian Dementia Network (ADNeT) initiatives (Registry, and Screening and Trials).

Student & Early Career Group Representatives

Nicky Baker

Nicky’s current PhD research exploring balance sway to prevent stumbles or near falls is informed by more than 25 years of clinical experience as a physiotherapist. Her investigation of opportunities for, and barriers to, good balance contributes to the broader understanding of healthy ageing and avoiding pre-frailty. Nicky is passionate about person centredness and has a collaborative and interprofessional approach to link across industries.

Board Nominee

Victoria Cornell

Victoria is the Research Manager at ECH, one of the largest providers of independent living and aged care services in South Australia. I manage ECH's research activities, a role that straddles academic and service-based research and development. As a social gerontologist, my areas of research interest include community aged care service provision, community connectedness, the built environment and housing - especially alternative models of housing, and housing for vulnerable older people.   I am a peer reviewer for several journals, including the Journal of Public Health, BMJ Open, The Gerontologist, The Journal of Aging and Social Change and Social Inclusion. I am a Board member - Australian Board of Directors of the Association of Gerontology and Trustee of the AAG Research Trust; the founding member and Convenor - Housing and Built Environment Special Interest Group, AAG; and a committee member - SA AAG. I Chair the Southern Fleurieu Positive Ageing Taskforce. 

Board Nominee

Ruth Walker 

Ruth has been an active member of the SA Division since 2013 and served as Secretary/Action Noter until 2019. She is currently Convenor of the Robert Penhall Early Career Research Award. Ruth is a Social Gerontologist with a background in Public Health, Psychology and Rehabilitation Counselling. She is currently Associate Professor in Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. Her research focuses on life transitions associated with ageing as well as later life caregiving and the intersection between disability and ageing. She conducts qualitative research which gives voice to underserved groups of older people and which helps to shape practice and policy.

Committee Members

Monica Cations 

Monica is a Research Fellow in the Department of Rehabilitation, Aged and Extended Care at Flinders University where she coordinates an NHMRC-funded translational study aiming to improve dementia care. She completed her PhD in Public Health in 2016 with research interests including dementia epidemiology, young onset dementia, and the impact of psychological trauma in old age. Monica is also a registered provisional psychologist and holds a clinical role with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network Memory Trials Centre. Monica has worked with people with dementia and their carers for many years across clinical, community, and research roles.

Dr Debbie Faulkner

Debbie is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning at The University of Adelaide. Her research foci in the field of ageing include the aspirations and expectations of older people and the baby boomers with respect to housing transitions; the impact of appropriate housing and service provision on health and wellbeing; the vulnerability of low income older people in the housing market; social networks and connections; and older peoples’ understanding of, access to, use and demand for aged and community care services.

Dr Ashleigh Smith

Dr Ashleigh Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology who has positioned her research at the nexus of neuroscience, cognitive ageing and exercise physiology. Her research interests are broadly centered around dementia prevention. Since 2013 she has been awarded >$3 million as a chief investigator in competitive grant funding from the NHMRC, ARC, Alzheimer’s Australia and Judith Jane and Harold Stannett Williams Foundation.

Tim Windsor

Tim Windsor's research interests are in the area of lifespan developmental psychology, with a focus on social relationships, well-being, and how people successfully adapt to ageing-related transitions.

Professor Renuka Visvanathan

Professor Renuka Visvanathan is a geriatrician and is the Chair of the AAG Grants Committee which has oversight of the RM Gibson Research Fund, Strategic Research Grants and the Hal Kendig Research Development Program. She is passionate in improving the wellbeing of older people and is the Project Lead to the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing. She is also the Head of Unit of the Geriatric Medicine Service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Ivy Diegman

Jenny Hayes

Kathy Williams

Morgan Pankhurst

Peter Bastian

Cathy Lock

Cathy has extensive experience in clinical social work services, elder abuse response and policy development, and management of a range of projects in community aged care services. She was most recently Consumer Engagement Manager with Domiciliary Care and RDNS in SA, and is currently providing Customer Engagement consultancy for Meals on Wheels South Australia. Cathy is a past President of the SA Division of the AAG.

Andrea Planamente

Dennis Asante

Julie Wilhelm

Julie is currently a project officer with the State-wide Collaborative Projects funded by the Department of Health for Sector Support and Development for aged care service providers who deliver Commonwealth Home Support Program services. She has had an interest in health, wellbeing and human behaviour for over 30 years. With a private business in health and wellbeing and ongoing upskilling, she has been able to incorporate her knowledge and expertise in all her various roles. She is a health and wellbeing coach, is a registered personal trainer and has a Bachelor of Psychological Science.

Dr Jo Anne Dumalaon-Canaria

Dr Jo Anne is a User Researcher for the Global Centre for Modern Ageing. She specialises in integrating empirical research and user experience (including facilitating co-design workshops) to deliver commercial insights and enterprise-based reports. She is passionate about working with multi-stakeholders to develop better products and services for older people and their intergenerational connections. Jo Anne obtained her PhD from the School of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University. She is also a former recipient of the prestigious International Endeavour Fellowship.


Page under reconstruction May 2022

Former office holders Linda Isherwood - Treasurer 2018-2021

Cathy Lock - VP 2020

Ruth Walker - Action noter 2019

Ivy Diegman - Action noter 2019

Lynsey Brown - Board Nominee and SAGe Convenor 2019

Erica Tilley - SECG rep 2019

Monica Cations SECG rep 2019

Anna Mooney SECG rep 2020-2021

Mitchell Goldsworthy & George Opie Joint Seminar co-ordinators 2021

Hannah Keage commitee since 2018 - Resaecrh Award 2019-2021


Thanks to previous Committee members (from 2021)

Linda Isherwood

Haiping Tan

Didy Button

Helen Barrie 2018-2021

Stephen Richards

Sue Roberts

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